The Department of Defense and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration recently signed an agreement focusing efforts to develop an integrated national strategy for managing their respective aeronautical test facilities. The memorandum of agreement (MOU), entitled the National Partnership for Aeronautical Testing (NPAT), was signed in late January by Kenneth J. Krieg, under secretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics and Michael D. Griffin, NASA Administrator.
This agreement expands the dialogue beyond the agencies’ test and evaluation communities to include interests of agency’s science and technology communities, as well as industry and academia. Aeronautical test facilities are facilities used for testing of vehicles (e.g., aircraft, missiles, or space vehicles) or for related scientific and engineering studies. They include wind tunnels, propulsion test facilities, simulation facilities, and open-air ranges.
The MOU also established the NPAT council as the governing body consisting of co-chairs John B. Foulkes, director, Test Resource Management Center and Lisa J. Porter, associate Administrator for Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate, and other key senior representatives from both agencies. The council will work to develop projects that streamline and economize the management of aeronautical test facilities. The council will share information about the technical capabilities and availability of their respective test facilities with the resulting interaction promoting economic and efficient management of the nation’s federal aeronautical test facilities.